NNLM SEA is proud to welcome New Freedom Farm in Buchanan, VA, as our 2000th member. Thank you for joining and for all you do to improve the lives of veterans while rescuing slaughter-bound horses, Lois!
Congratulations, too, on your nomination as a Remarkable Woman – we think you are remarkable, indeed.
Lois Fritz founded New Freedom Farm in 2016 out of her personal understanding of PTSD and the relief she experienced through time spent in the midst of her horses. Located on 13 level acres in Buchanan, VA; the farm was originally home to 19 equines, including three mares & their foals saved from slaughter, a number of mini horses & mini donkeys, a hinny and a mule. The equine census has evolved over time and our residents continue to change. Built on faith and determination, New Freedom Farm is dedicated to helping those who have served our country along with their families.
New Freedom Farm is a safe place for veterans suffering from PTSD/TBI, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and secondary trauma. We are a 501c3 nonprofit, so we work solely off of donations and faith. There is no charge to veterans who wish to visit, and all visitors are welcome to make an appointment outside of regular hours (once activities resume, Post Covid-19).
Central to the idea of New Freedom Farm is ‘sanctuary.’ Not only is the farm a place for healing humans, it is also a place dedicated to providing safe haven for its equine residents. Much like the Veterans we serve, our horses have come to us following stress-filled situations. Having been abandoned to an auction circuit that often delivers them to the hands of “kill buyers,” these animals have seen their fair share of fear and trauma. We believe it is the essence of The Horse combined with their journeys to us that makes our program unique. The sensitivity of the horse delivers an honesty and truth for the Veteran who is experiencing difficulty trusting others.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be described as a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event. The symptoms can include agitation, irritability, hostility, hyper-vigilance, self-destructive behavior, and/or social isolation. As many as 20% of veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom) have been diagnosed with PTSD. 30% of Vietnam Vets suffer from PTSD. U.S. Veterans commit suicide at an average rate of 22 per day. Many PTSD/TBI Veterans are isolated or withdrawn.
Studies have shown that interacting with an animal, such as a horse, can be very helpful and calming to those suffering from PTSD. Visiting with the equines at New Freedom Farm helps with isolation, communication, trust, and social skills.
To all of our members – Thank You! You make a positive difference in the world and it’s our great honor to assist you in your important work.
More members means more outreach so please share our Membership Information with your communities, partners, colleagues, campuses and branches. All are welcome!